Worship is not Mere Words

The Scripture whereby Christ answers the Devil, is in the sixteenth of Deuteronomy, and thirteenth verse, Thou shalt feare the Lord thy God, and serue him.[1] If any fantastical spirit oppose itself against Moses, let it be accursed.[2]

There is in this answer two things set down, Worship and Service: both which are due to God only. Covetousness ends in idolatry[3], and fitly is so termed: if Christ had been covetously minded, then he must needs have fallen down, and worshipped the Devil for covetousness and idolatry being joined together, we would not have parted from so great a benefit.

Christ hath here changed a word, which the Septuaginta[4] translators has: which signifies, a service with an open testimony. So that, will you know if a man do believe? Hee beleeueth vnto righteousnes with the heart, that with the mouth confesseth to saluation, Roman. chapt. 10. vers. 10.[5] Such as glorify God as well in their members[6], as in their spirit, 1. Corinth. cha. 6. verse. 20[7]. As Saint James saith of Faith, Shew me thy faith by thy works[8]: so may it be said of fear[9]. You say you have fear, can you show me your fear? If it be not a dead fear, it is to be seen: as Dan. chapt. 3. verse 5[10]. it must be shewed by falling down, and worshipping.

The servant that feared, fell down and besought [begged] his master, Matth. chapt. 18. verse. 26[11]. Do you fear? then where is the outward reverence? The inward affection must appeareby the outward action: Religion is outward, as well as inward, 1. Kings 19. 18.[12]

[1]  10 “And when the Lord your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build, 11 and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full, 12 then take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 13 It is the Lord your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear.   Deuteronomy 6:10–13 (ESV)

[2] It seems that Andrewes here makes an aside condemnation of those persons who try to separate the Old Testament from Christianity, as Marcion did in the Second Century: “Marcion’s central thesis was that the Christian Gospel was wholly a Gospel of Love to the absolute exclusion of Law. This doctrine, which he expounded esp. in his ‘Antitheses’, led him to reject the OT completely. The Creator God or *Demiurge, revealed in the OT from Gen. I onwards as wholly a God of Law, had nothing in common with the God of Jesus Christ.” F. L. Cross and Elizabeth A. Livingstone, eds., The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford;  New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 1040.

[3] “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:5 (ESV)

[4] The Septuagint is a translation of the Old Testament from Hebrew into Greek. Greek was known by far more Jews than Hebrew by the time of Jesus. The text of the Septuagint differs in places from the Hebrew Bible. Here the Septuagint reads as follows: “1You shall fear the Lord your God and serve him, and you shall cling to him, and you shall swear by his name.” Deuteronomy 6:13 (LES) The difference between the Hebrew and Greek text of this verse is the verb κολλάω, which means to be joined to, or to cling to. The argument must be that by being joined to the Lord’s name, one makes an open profession. Jesus has the word “worship” in place of the Hebrew “fear,” which is an appropriate exchange.

[5]  “For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” Romans 10:10 (ESV)

[6] “Members” is a reference to part of the body. This word is used by Paul to refer to one’s own body (Col. 3:5), or individual Christians who are “members” of the body of Christ. (1 Cor. 6:15)


15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

1 Corinthians 6:15–20 (ESV)


18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

James 2:18–26 (ESV)

[9] The fear of the Lord is known by the manner of life, not by a mere verbal claim. It is easy to say something; but the truth is in how one lives.

[10] The King of Babylon created an enormous statute and required that everyone was to bow down to the statute when they heard the music played. The three devout Hebrews refused to worship the idol because they feared God. Their fear was shown in their worship. Since they feared God, they would not worship the false god. Likewise, Jesus feared God and thus would worship no other.

[11]  “So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’” Matthew 18:26 (ESV) Andrewes is using the parable of the unforgiving servant as an illustration as to who one who asks of a greater will make his request upon his knees. To be down on the ground in a submissive posture is a posture “worship.” The word in Matthew translated worship refers to this posture, “Freq. used to designate the custom of prostrating oneself before persons and kissing their feet or the hem of their garment, the ground, etc.; the Persians did this in the presence of their deified king, and the Greeks before a divinity or someth. holy.” William Arndt et al., A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 882.

[12] God speaking to Elijah uses the image of physical submission to demonstrate one’s worship: “Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” 1 Kings 19:18 (ESV)